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Comment by Academician Vasil Kazandzhiev, composer and conductor

Sofia, 7th August 2020

 

Sent to Varna City Art Gallery for the opening of Alexander Kaprichev exhibition on the occasion of 75 years of the artist's birth.

 

“Alexander Kaprichev is an outstanding phenomenon in Bulgarian culture. An artist of high calibre, Kaprichev has left a lasting legacy in the field of painting. His works impress with their unique beauty, originality of style and spiritual content. All of this makes him a well-deserved representative of Bulgaria on the international scene.   

 

Comment by Penka Kazandzhieiva, History of Art tutor at the Musical Academy, Sofia

 

I am trying to explain to myself the striking presence of perspective and poetics in the works of Alexander Kaprichev. The superimposition of a constant flow of transforming forms, perspectives, imprints from memory, and the unchangeable permanency crystalised into a sign, a symbol, corresponds to the outwardly expressed purposefully intended musicality of his paintings.  

Music cycles and their analogues in the visual arts are particularly evident in the strife towards the representation of the invisible through the visible  for example, the conception of time and that of the unfinished present moment. 

In Paul Klee, the abstract idea and music relate to the temporal, akin to essence of creativity in nature and art. Klee transforms the conductor’s movements into graphic symbols – visually filled with musical content hieroglyphs, from which he produces a series of drawings of boats and ships. The sailing vessels with their masts and ropes symbolise the movement of celestial bodies, whereas the winds and light are a metaphoric representation of temporal existence, a recurring theme in the works of William Turner – a precursor of abstract painting.        

I find meaningful correspondence between the visual aesthetics of Klee and Turner and that of Alexander Kaprichev. The multi-faceted intersection of space and time, constantly moving, like in a musical piece, remain characteristic components of Kaprichev’s art. Thus, it is not coincidental that they dominate his creative process, and that could explain the music resonance in a title of his painting, such as “Composition” where the streaking light and its transparency are overwhelming. They sharpen the ability of the eye to search and seek beyond the visible to find the invisible  sails, nets, bows and arrows, criss-crossing in space, at various distances, before and after the horizon line. A soul-searching experience through art by utilising the inner archive of stored images, sounds, lights, atmospheres, reconnecting with the primal. 

It was the pre-Socratic philosophers who had observed and interpreted nature through the behaviour of the primal four elements (earth, air, fire, water), ‘Stoicheion’, meaning in Greek, any first thing or principle. For example, to Heraclitus, fire was the first principle of the universe, all things were exchanged for fire, whereas to Empedocles, primordial water surrounded the earth in its entirety, stood for the beginning of the creation, and represented a play of forms, time and memory.  Likewise, in the paintings of Alexander Kaprichev the ever-present horizon, as an extreme edge of the surface of the visible touching upon the invisible, in a strife towards the infinite, is instilled with the artist’s ever-lasting aspiration – evocative and timeless.    


 

A Field of Creative Anxiety

   kultura.bg.   published 14.08.202

Solos exhibition of Alexander Kaprichev (1945-2008) 

dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the birth of the artist, held at Varna City Art Gallery, 

7th – 26th August 2020.

—————-

The solo exhibition of Alexander Kaprichev (1945-2008) at Varna City Art Gallery is a befitting celebration of a well justified jubilee, marking 75 years from the birth of the artist.

An “impressive excerpt” from his artwork, the exposition is a thoughtful selection of Kaprichev’s paintings highlighting the singularity of his creative talent and helps to define his positive contribution to Bulgarian art. It further reinforces the argument, albeit late, that a recognition of his name is justified, alongside those of well- and lesser known names in the field of Bulgarian art from the second half of the twentieth century.

There are artists who choose not to promote their art on the TV screen, nor do their names take central place in newspaper reviews, and their paintings could rarely be found displayed in prime position in exhibition halls. With the passages of time, however, some of those artists who had been favoured by the status quo and enjoyed certain privileges, appear to have lost today their then undisputed status of alleged importance. 

Alexander Kaprichev was amongst those artists who did not seek fame. Instead, he chose humbly and quietly to engage in art creation, which singles him out as a dedicated and morally responsible individual. The pulsating intensity of his artworks with rich nuances and grading hues is instilled in his ethical ethos.

Indeed, despite the presence of specific motives and a variety of topics, his art is never a finished piece, in the traditional sense. On the contrary, it remains in a state of “happening”, constantly vibrating in a whirl of continuous reshaping, and at times, in a strenuous state of becoming. As the smooth plane alternates the relief, the paint fabric gradually crystallises into various textured solutions. 

In such an approach, the picture emerges primarily as a kind of terrain, a topos or a formulae allowing reflection on certain dynamic conflicts, a stop on the way to an unknown place, a "field" charged with creative anxiety and art fervour. For Kaprichev, the painting, or the canvas, are not a pier, harbouring a balance achieved once and for all, but a kaleidoscope of contradictions, with no tranquillity and final harmony. And those incessant contradictions give a unique impulse to the act of creation.

Alexander Kaprichev is one of those artists for whom the tragedy and drama of our existence, of human existence on the planet, is of paramount importance.

His painterly manner is derived from a kind of plastic view perspective that is firmly embraced by him. 

At the same time, he is an artist who pays great attention to aesthetics, to the plastic completion of the artwork. Therefore, he could argue that should we regard harmony to be beyond the sense of the accepted standards, it ought to be sought mostly within the tonal comparisons, in the colourful solutions detailed in the "small harmonies”. Existential conflicts, at first glance, paradoxically find their special counterpoint in the closed and autonomous "self-sufficient" plastic world of the artwork.

The author often develops the compositional structure of the painting based on geometric elements and introduces certain linear patterns and rhythmic groups, frequently combined with awe-inspiring brushstrokes, richly nuanced as tonal planes and texture. The painter's credo is emphatically oriented towards the non-figurative. If there are figures, they are usually "closed" in themselves, non-communicative, acting as single encapsulated "monads", often impenetrable in their deep-seated enigmas. 

The artist loves the immense, imaginary, boundless pictorial spaces, and sometimes applies a rapidly "running" perspective; at other times, he elaborates on detail and focuses on the two-dimensional plane of the pictorial substance itself. This allows him to develop his talent both on the scale of a large size composition as well as in the small format one.

In brief, the stylistic dominant for the greater part of Alexander Kaprichev's artwork, is the lyrical abstraction, that combined elements of abstract expressionism. Thus, at play is the tension between the forces of attraction and detraction, and between the figurative and the non-figurative beginning in the plastic formation which is essentially important for Kaprichev. "Binary" oppositions such as harmony / conflict, overflow / contrast, etc. are both worldviews and formal elements of the artist's syntax, through which the essence of the visual image and its impact on the viewer are achieved.

 

This exhibition, above all, is a tribute to the memory of Alexander Kaprichev. However, together with the whole work of the artist, it is also a contribution to the twentieth-century Bulgarian art history that is still waiting to be written. 

 

Prof.Chavdar Popov Ph.D

 


 

Exhibition IDEAS and SPIRIT at Varna City Art Gallery


 

The Watercolours of Alexander Kaprichev’s

IN MEMORIAM

THE WATERCOLOURS OF ALEXANDER KAPRICHEV

Talking about his watercolours, painted in Great Britain between 1999 and 2005, Alexander Kaprichev noted that he thought of them as being representations of “the allusion, or impression of existential time or time as a continuous process”.

The watercolour abstractions convey his artistic vision in a harmony of colour, line and intricate spatial geometric shapes. Left untitled by the artist, they are imbued with an air of lavish improvisations, and creative spontaneity. 

A variation of formats adds diversity and rhythm of perception. So whether we devote more time to interpret them, or they strike an instant chord with us, they unfailingly succeed in awakening in us a sense of anticipation of Kaprichev’s intimate, yet truly universal artistic experience through various emotive, meditative and cosmic suggestions on the paper.

Kaprichev’s watercolour compositions are ephemeral, free expressions of an amusing play with light, of shadows and reflections; at times even a  twiggle with initials,  possibly meant to encode a message, thus creating a unique world of idiosyncratic emotions which, as he said, ‘cannot be enclosed or framed within a single title’.

* abridges from the text of Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva, art critic, director of Varna City Art Gallery

 

Alexander Kaprichev’s watercolours created in the UK between 1999 – 2005 have so far been shown at: The Mall Gallery, London, 2000; Gallery 8, Varna, 2011,2016; Sofia Gallery, BCI, London, 2013; Academy Gallery, Sofia, 2014; A[cube] Contemporary Gallery, Sofia, 2017; Finesse Gallery, Sofia, 2018; Varna City Art Gallery, 2018; II WWT ”The Spirit of Watercolor”, Varna, 2019 an accompanying exhibition at Tereza Zikovska Gallery.

 


 

INFINITY, watercolour exhibition, Varna 5 - 19 July 2019 Zikovska Gallery

azzzzaaWith the breath of summer  you will also experience "The Spirit Watercolor", with the II International Triennial of Watercolor, Varna 2019, which will reign on the ART SCENE in our Summer Capital.

Watercolour lets artists share spontaneous emotions, thoughts and reveries straight onto the paper which is somehow conveyed to the spectators.

 INFINITY, Alexander Kaprichev’s watercolours, exhibited for the first time, will involve art lovers in enjoying the ethereal atmosphere they create. Gallery Theresa Zikovska hosts the event, affiliated to the 2nd International Triennial of Watercolor in Varna from 5th to 19th July 2019.

Created in the UK, in the period 1999-2005, when the artist had the opportunity to immerse himself in a different and rich artistic atmosphere, the watercolours mirror, according to art critics, one of  the artist’s most mature and significant period.

 Here is what some of the art critics wrote:

“Kaprichev skilfully balanced improvisation with scrupulous precision availing of elegant, ethereal and multifaceted palette, albeit with the colours that are frequently audacious and highly expressive, in an inexhaustible alteration of divergence.

Ergo, Kaprichev’s paintings become mirror of the artist subconscious, a cryptic nook where the spontaneity of evocative brushwork integrates with a thoughtful compositional structure. Thus, the spectator is absorbed by contemplative paintings enhanced with perspective, depth and glimpses of exquisite technical mastery.

Twimothy Warrington, ICAC, London 2017

“The late watercolours are lyrical, created with a light wash of paint. Here and there spontaneous lines appear, with brush strokes and plastic emphasis. The energies, the powers of attraction and retraction to which he gives free expression, as a kind of typological analogy, contain a touch of Vassily Kandinsky’s pictorial world. In some parts the artist leaves the message to the uneven surface and the coarse paper, to the sheet of paper on which the watercolour was placed.” 

Prof.Chavdar Popov PhD

“Among the watercolour work, Alexander features abstract interpretations of magical surroundings and a distinctive set of symbols capable of capturing subtle expressions with just a few lines. He explores his inner thoughts through colours and forms, creating compositions characterised by a timeless and unique elegance.”

Elena Foschi, Art critic, London 2018

 

 


 

Autumnal Touches now in Varna

 After the successful show of  Atunmal Touches  at a[cube] contemporary, Sofia last autumn

and Contemplations at Finesse Gallery, Sofia a couple of weeks ago

Watercolours will be shown for the Varna lovers of Alexander Kaprichev’s art

At Varna City Art Gallery. Vernisage on 12th October 2018 from 6 pm

AUTUMNAL TOUCHES 

    FEEL WECOME AND ENJOY WATERCOLOURS WITH A GLASS OF WINE. 


 

Autumnal Touches now in Varna

 After the successful show of  Atunmal Touches  at a[cube] contemporary, Sofia last autumn

and Contemplations at Finesse Gallery, Sofia a couple of weeks ago

Watercolours will be shown for the Varna lovers of Alexander Kaprichev’s art

At Varna City Art Gallery. Vernisage on 12th October 2018 from 6 pm

AUTUMNAL TOUCHES 

    FEEL WECOME AND ENJOY WATERCOLOURS WITH A GLASS OF WINE. 


 

Exhibition in Sofia 19th - 26th September 2918

 PAINTINGS AND WATERCOLOURS SHOWN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN BULGARIA UNTIL 26th SEPTEMBER 2018  


 

Exhibition in Sofia

Paintings and watercolours shown for the first time in BulgariaUntil 26th September 2018, Open 11am - 7 pm Tuesday to Sunday.


 

THE ROOM GALLERY

Contemporary Art Space in Venice

26 May - 12 July 2018

alexander kaprichev

Alexander Kaprichev Artwork Exhibited:

alexander kaprichev

Untitled, 2004, oil, acrylic on canvas 46x 36 cm

Click here to visit event page

 

Preview: Land of Roses | Bulgarian Art
9th January 2018 

Paintings from the Collection of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs On the occasion of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency, its embassy in London and the 12 Star Gallery present an exhibition of 20th century Bulgarian art, predominantly from the collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The exhibition will showcase works by leading Bulgarian painters, figurative and abstract, stretching over a time period that covers the last 50 years. These will include: David Peretz (1906-1982); Genko Genkov (1923-2006); Georgi Baev (1924-2007); Elza Goeva (b. 1928); Encho Pironkov (b. 1932); Nikola Manev (b. 1940); Suli Seferov (b. 1943); Alexander Kaprichev (1945-2008), and Vasil Stoev (b. 1950). This is, indeed, a miniature part of what our artists have produced throughout time, but it has been very carefully selected, with the ambition to make the viewers feel the spirit of “The Land of Roses” on canvas. This exhibition, while small in terms of the number of the presented works, is quite impressive with its discrete and, at the same time, clear message. It aims to convey the story of the work of the Bulgarian painters from the last five decades with their skills, emotion, talent, and heart. The preview was followed by a concert to launch Bulgaria's Presidency of the EU Council at St John's Smith Square (9/1/2018) with the Wladigeroff Brothers and featuring The London Bulgarian Choir led by Dessislava Stefanova. Organised by the Embassy of Bulgaria

alexander kaprichev

alexander kaprichev

 

 

Autumnal Touches 

by the artist Alexander Kaprichev (1945-2008)

20th September 2017

CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY SOFIA

20 September 3

20 September 2

20 September

 

 

Alexander Kaprichev's work has been selected to participate at the
museum-quality award exhibition 

London Art Biennale, Chelsea Town Hall - London

29th March - 2nd April 2017